On 07 October 2019, the Council of the European Union adopted the Whistleblower Directive. The EU member states are responsible for implementing this directive by autumn 2021. By that deadline, all companies with at least 50 employees, and all municipalities with at least 10,000 inhabitants, in Austria must implement an internal whistleblower system and provide the necessary minimum protection for all persons wishing to use it.

When they have doubts, employees who fear that reporting suspicious activity will have personal consequences are not likely to file reports internally. They may instead go directly to the authorities or the public. The only way to prevent such conduct, which can be disastrous for a company, is to have an effective internal whistleblower system.

Information received through a whistleblower hotline can affect a wide variety of legal areas. Experience has shown that the following areas of law are regularly affected: antitrust law, data protection law, public procurement law, product safety, public law, capital market law, criminal law, and regulatory law.

Not all companies are in a position to cover all areas of law so comprehensively that concrete indications can be checked effectively and on short notice. We have therefore decided to offer our clients our services as an external service provider in the monitoring and content support of whistleblower hotlines. We are also happy to assist in the selection of a suitable IT provider.

Our expertise at a glance:

  • Planning and setting up an internal whistleblower system
  • Training employees
  • External support for whistleblower hotlines
  • Legal advice in all relevant legal areas on the information received
  • Internal investigations after a notification is received
  • Advice in proceedings before the competent authorities resulting from internal or external reports

We regularly hold events on whistleblowing and report on current developments in this area of law. If you are interested in receiving whistleblowing information or attending an event, please email us at whistleblowing@ehlaw.at.